Softball Downs Sacred Heart to Give Joe French Win No. 550

BALTIMORE, Md. – UMBC head coach Joe French recorded his 550th career victory as the Retrievers improved to 9-11 on the season with a 9-2 victory over Sacred Heart on the second day of the UMBC Spring Classic.

Sophomore Jessica Warner (Hungtingtown, Md./Hungtingtown) hit two home runs and knocked in four against the Pioneers, while also leading the Retrievers in the field with three assisted outs.  The two home runs give Warner 12 in her career and seven already this season.

Senior Katie Ferguson (North East, Md./North East/Cecil CC)  went seven innings in the circle, allowing only one earned run off four hits, while fanning five Sacred Heart batters.  Over the last 11 games Ferguson has posted a 1.17 ERA.

Sacred Heart took an early one run lead in the first inning when leadoff hitter Nicole Sidor scored a run on a throwing error.

UMBC came right back however, with Warner hitting a grand slam to left center to give the Retrievers a 4-1 lead, a lead which they never lost.  UMBC added an insurance run in each of the fourth and fifth innings and then added three more in the sixth inning.

In the fourth, freshman Courtney Paone (Middletown, N.J./Middletown North) was called in as a pinch runner for Caitlin Chance (Easton, Md./Northeast) after Chance reached base with an infield single.  Amanda Damiano (Tamaqua, Pa./Marian Catholic) moved her into scoring position with an infield single of her own and finally Katrina Gaar (Newport Beach, Calif./Corona del Mar/Orange County CC) brought her home with a single to center. 

Then, in the fifth inning senior Becca Bernheimer (Lewes, Del./Cape Henlopen) cashed in as a pinch runner to extend UMBC's lead, 7-2.  After Keala Mason (Bel Air, Md./Harford Tech) reached base with a single through the left side Bernheimer was brought in as a pinch runner and four batters later she added a the run when Kaila Balatgek (Reading, Pa./Exeter Township) reached first base.

Warner hit her second home run of the game in the sixth inning before Mason and Ferguson added two more runs to give UMBC what would prove the be the final score.

The Retrievers return to the diamond on Saturday when they play Rhode Island on day three of the UMBC Spring Classic.  First pitch between the Retrievers and the Rams is set for 1:35 p.m. at the UMBC Softball Stadium.

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